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Surprise! Oklahoma is the second worst state for women

8:00 AM EDT on March 28, 2012

So, Oklahoma made another worst list. No, it wasn’t about the worst health in the nation. It wasn’t about the worst place for recovering meth addicts to escape the crystal darkness. It wasn’t even the worst place to spend the summer of 2011, though we all know it totally was. No, readers, the list our great state made was iVillage’s Top 5 Worst U.S. States for Women.

The write-up from primarily focuses on the lack of reproductive options in the state:

A woman’s right to choose is also compromised in Oklahoma. (Are you starting to recognize a pattern?) Women wanting to terminate a pregnancy in the Sooner State likely need to travel, as there are only six abortion doctors in the entire region. Once they’ve traveled, they’ll also have to wait a full 24 hours after their first visit to the doctor, where they will only be allowed to have a sonogram and hear details about the fetus. They’ll have to wait until the next day to have the procedure, which their health insurance won’t be covering. There’s also a sizable chance they won’t have health insurance anyway, as 1 in 4 women are without coverage. What’s more, the share of women in the Oklahoma legislature is a pitiful 12.8%, and there are no women in its Congress.

Now, I love Oklahoma so much that I’ve considered getting the state motto tattooed on my body (the real one, not “in God we trust”). But let’s be honest with ourselves. Oklahoma is a terrible place for women for reasons other than lack of access to abortions. The article touched on the lack of female representation in the legislature, but let’s not forget who one of those women representing us is. Sally Kern, a woman who has literally said that women earn less than men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families” is part of that meager 12.8%. That’s our Sally, shattering the glass ceiling left and right!

We have an absurd amount of teen pregnancies, so much so that we finally made it big time. That’s right, a girl from Miami is featured on this season of “16 and Pregnant.” But don’t worry, guys. Abstinence only sex education and lack of access to reproductive services totally fixes everything. And let’s not forget that Oklahoma has the highest female incarceration rate in the nation. I don’t know how women would have time to break the law when they’re at home spending time with their families, but apparently it happens. It leads a person to wonder whether or not the Oklahoma justice system takes a harsher view of female criminality and what factors in out society and the personal lives of these women is causing them to break the laws.

So, is Oklahoma a terrible place to live when you’re a woman? Sometimes. But at least it’s not as bad as Mississippi. Well, except the personhood bill passed the Oklahoma house yesterday, and Mississippi voters voted against that back in November 2011.

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